Gore "Welcomed" Back by Democrats After Bribe, Dea

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Gore "Welcomed" Back by Democrats After Bribe, Dea

Gore Giving Over $6 Million to DemocratsBy RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer WASHINGTON - Al Gore (news - web sites), dipping into his 2000 campaign warchest, said Wednesday he will donate more than $6 million to five Democratic Party groups and help presumptive nominee John Kerry (news - web sites) fight the "outrageous and misleading" Republican campaign. The former vice president pledged to donate $4 million to the Democratic National Committee (news - web sites). The party's Senate and House committees would each get $1 million, and the party from Gore's home state of Tennessee would receive $250,000. The Democratic Party in Florida, site of the divisive 2000 recount, would get $240,000 from a separate Gore campaign account. "The outcome of this election is extremely important for the future of our country and for all that America stands for," Gore said in a statement first obtained by The Associated Press. "I want to help John Kerry become president and I want to help Democrats retake control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Gore, who favored Howard Dean (news - web sites) over Kerry in the Democratic nomination fight, met privately with the presumptive nominee Tuesday at a Cleveland hotel. "John will be a great president for all Americans, and I want to do everything I can to help him fight against the outrageous and misleading campaign being waged by the Bush-Cheney campaign," Gore said. Most of the money comes from Gore's general election legal and accounting compliance fund, which showed $6.6 million on March 31. The $240,000 going to the Florida Democratic Party comes from an account established to help pay for the 2000 recount drive. The outcome in Florida and the subsequent Supreme Court decision on the recount ensured President Bush (news - web sites)'s victory. Under FEC rules, money in such compliance funds can only be used to pay for lawyers and accountants to comply with federal election law. But the rules also permit money left over in such accounts to be transferred to a national, state or local party committee, or to be donated to charity. Gore could not transfer or donate the money directly to the Kerry campaign. But by transferring the money to the DNC and other committees, restrictions under which the money was originally raised would no longer be in effect, FEC officials said. Money remaining in the compliance fund will be used to cover any administrative costs. Anything left will likely go to charity, said an official familiar with Gore's thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The former Tennessee senator and Bill Clinton (news - web sites)'s vice president, Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the electoral vote to Bush in one of the closest elections in history. He is coming late to Kerry's bandwagon. He shocked the political community late last year by endorsing then front-runner Dean, whose campaign collapsed several weeks later in Iowa, leaving the former vice president and other Dean supporters without a candidate in the Democratic presidential race. Gore effectively endorsed Kerry during a Democratic Party unity dinner in March.